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How to Manage Your Brand

Managing your brand does not start and end with keeping an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn. I often hear clients say that when they are sent a resume, they do 3 things:

  1. Look them up on LinkedIn to see who they know in common and determine if their profile reflects their resume.

  2. Google the candidate to gain an understanding of their web presence - good, bad or non-existent.

  3. Look at where they've worked in the past to see who they might be able to contact for an informal reference.

Clearly, there are a lot of aspects to your personal brand that are important to manage.  Here are just few considerations:

Social Media Presence. Pay attention to all of your social media profiles. Specifically, manage your LinkedIn profile carefully.  This is the first place recruiters and clients will search you out.  Do you have a picture?  Is it professional?  Studies have shown that people trust LinkedIn profiles less if they do not include a picture

Online Digital Presence. Google yourself – what did you find?  Does it reflect the way you perceive your brand? Do you even have a presence on Google?  It’s not always easy to control what Google finds online, but you should at least commit to getting rid of any negative content by contacting the content owners.  It is ideal if you are able to create blogs posts or searchable content to show that you are an expert in your field.

Written Word — Your Resume!Carefully craft your resume to match your brand.  Also consider the points above. Are the messages and statements on your resume reflected on your social media profiles?  If there are contrary messages, it creates a confused message to your audience.

Your Network (online and offline).  People often look to LinkedIn to see who you might have in common.  It is critical you manage your network.  Associate with people who have a similar brand to you. Some people accept all invites and this will often diminsh your network credibility.

References.   Many people ask for LinkedIn references to help their online presence, and obviously, having a great set of offline references is also beneficial. Don’t forget, though, that your industry may be small and your clients often network amongst each other.  That means potential clients may speak with your past clients even if you didn’t provide them as a reference. Always leave a client site knowing what a client will say about you and your personal brand.

Career Choices.Every job is a reflection of your brand.  When considering new opportunities, consider how this opportunity fits into your brand.  Will it enhance your brand?  Are you shifting your brand or steering away from your core focus?

Whatever your personal brand, take an active part in it!